How to Lure a Swarm of Bees

Written by harold parker
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How to Lure a Swarm of Bees
The swarm surrounds the queen and keeps her safe while drone bees fly out in search of the ideal home. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Luring and catching a swarm of bees is a necessary step to establishing a beekeeping colony. When bees swarm, they are in search of a new hive and are, in essence, homeless. Using a mimic pheromone or attractant is an easy way to lure the swarm to your beekeeping box.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pheromone lure
  • Lemon grass oil
  • Swarm trap
  • Beekeeping suit

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    Pheromone Lures

  1. 1

    Purchase a pheromone lure and swarm trap from a reputable online purveyor such as Kelley Bee or Better Bee. If you cannot purchase goods on the Internet, seek out a local agricultural supplier or pet superstore, such as Lowes, Petsmart or Home Depot. If you are unable to get to one of these stores, make a trap out of a cardboard box with a small hole cut in one side. Make sure the lid is securely sealed shut.

  2. 2

    Attach the pheromone lure to the inside of the trap. Make sure the lid is on or the top is otherwise tightly and securely closed.

  3. 3

    Set the trap in an area prone to high bee activity, such as near a garden or an arbor of fruit trees.

  4. 4

    Wear beekeeping gear each time you check the trap. If a swarm has been successfully lured and trapped, the trap will be full and you will want to avoid being stung.

    Lemon grass Oil

  1. 1

    Purchase lemon grass oil from your local health foods, Asian, or Mediterranean market. Lemon grass oil is a good substitute if pheromone lures are unavailable to you.

  2. 2

    Apply the lemon grass oil to the inside of your trap with a cotton swab or tissue.

  3. 3

    Reapply the oil to your set trap with a cotton ball fixed to a stick or a long cotton swab if no swarm has been successfully trapped.

Tips and warnings

  • Never use lemon-scented polish as a lure; it is an old wives' tale. The chemicals present in polish are harmful to bees and the environment.

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